Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Penguin Design

This weekend when trying to describe open source software to a friend, a neat association came to mind. Many of us have heard that "a camel is a horse designed by committee." What about open source. Well: "a penguin is a bird designed by open source!"

Assuming that I had heard this somewhere before, I searched but could not find it. Interesting: it seems like such an obvious connection to make :-) If anyone knows of a source for that statement, please let me know and I'll make the proper attribution here....

3 Comments:

Blogger Peter said...

Hmmmm... Camels are, in fact, pretty awesome. Whether they're attractive or not, they'll get you through a desert better than a horse. Maybe this means hope for open source, the JCP, etc. ;)

10:30 AM

 
Anonymous roman said...

Exactly! Camels can run, can survive in a desert, can live quite a long time without food and water, can carry weights, have warm wool, can eat things that horses can't, etc. A definitive improvement!

Birds are supposed to fly, but penguins swim... Hmmm... is open-source software that useless?! :)

4:46 PM

 
Blogger Nick said...

Show me the spec that says 'birds are supposed to fly.' Even the spec that says 'mammals don't lay eggs' has been violated by the platypus.

I think the observation that the open source bird can do more than you'd expect (or is being used in unexpected ways) is a good one. It's growing organically and via natural selection to adapt to its environment. So while you might *expect* it to do certain things (like BSOD or be prone to virus attack) the fact is it's so much more, and so much better.

And you'll never catch a penguin flying into closed Windows. ;-)

3:19 PM

 

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